The androgyny challenge was so important because the girls had to transform themselves and step out of their comfort zones. I also just think it’s really fun for the girls to embrace their character. It’s more of an acting job than a modeling job – but in reality, every model should be an actress on some level.
To me, Sharon really stood out. She took my direction so well, and she embodied being a man. I’m so proud of her because she’s really been stepping out of her comfort zone, and she has been getting consistently better and better with every episode. Tiana has very feminine features, so she didn’t stand out as much as Sharon in this challenge, but she did a great job and has performed consistently throughout the whole competition.
I thought Afiya was amazing. She really embodied her manly character. I loved that Team Naomi came up with different names. Amanda was actually really good too, because she’s such a commercial, voluptuous girl – for her to take on a different character was really new and really impressive.
I’m not going to say that we did a better job than Team Naomi, but we did a different job. It’s all about personal preference. I think Team Naomi had a story, and it was great. Personally I think it was a little too violent for my taste – but who am I to judge?
Our team took some risks. I may have made a mistake by putting myself in the center of the picture, which I really wasn’t planning to do. It’s hard when you’re doing a photo shoot to see what you look like! But we decided to go for the classic Helmut Newton style. All of our shots were really inspired by him. We had a story, but we wanted to do it very high fashion and very editorial. It was kind of hard to tell a love story in a picture with three guys (like on our team) instead of two (like on Naomi’s and Lydia’s teams). But in fashion you never know who they’re going to pick. I was happy for Naomi’s team…but I hate losing!
With Khadisha: one of the reasons I put her up was because she’s a great model before she gets in front of the camera, but when she starts doing a challenge she bombs every single time. She’s been losing a lot of confidence and for some reason, she doesn’t perform right.
Bottom line: Khadisha was the worst out of my whole team. Sharon was great and I didn’t really have anything bad to say about Tiana either. I am a fair person, and that’s what I had to go with. I know that Khadisha really shone at first, but you have to be consistent. You can’t become a star, then fade out and expect people to still like you because you were great once. You have to fight for it and listen to peoples’ direction. I was trying to help her, but if she doesn’t listen or doesn’t have the capacity to become better, there’s nothing I can do. It was really unfortunate because she’s a great model. She has a great look and she’s a wonderful person –but I can’t be unfair to the girls who are better.
Naomi and I have been very lucky that we have won three challenges each. You don’t know what the client’s preferences are going to be. I can’t really be judging anyone on their mentoring. But the thing is: I feel the competition from Naomi’s girls, and from Naomi herself, but I don’t feel that from Lydia at all. I want my girls to feel like they’re in real life, where they’re going to see the toughest competition. But Lydia’s competition is weak. What I said wasn’t a personal attack, but we want our girls to go against the best, and we didn’t feel like Lydia was bringing her heart out to being the strongest competition, and obviously the girls are unhappy, saying they want to be on a different team.
See you next week!
[Photo: Steve Fenn]